Bard College Student Handbook

Academic Courses

The courses offered in the undergraduate program are described under the four divisional headings, the interdivisional heading, and the Conservatory of Music. A student can expect a course listed in the College Catalogue to be taught at least once every four years. Every semester approximately 500 courses and 150 tutorials are offered. The average class size is 19 in the Lower College and 12 in the Upper College.

Courses numbered 100 through 199 are primarily, though not exclusively, for first-year students; 200-level courses are primarily for Lower College students; and 300-and 400-level courses are designed for Upper College students.

Most courses in the Lower College meet twice weekly for 80 minutes each session, although instructors may vary the length and frequency of meetings according to their estimation of a class’s needs. Many seminar courses in the Upper College meet once a week for two hours and 20 minutes. Laboratory courses usually meet three times a week (two two-hour seminars or lectures and a laboratory session). Introductory language courses customarily have four one-hour sessions each week, intensive language courses have five two-hour sessions each week, and immersion language courses have five three-hour sessions each week. Most tutorials meet once a week for one hour.

All courses carry 4 credits unless otherwise noted. There are several 2-credit seminars; intensive language courses carry 8 credits and immersion language courses 12 credits. A normal course load is 16 credits each semester. To receive more than 18 credits, a student must be certified by the registrar’s office as having had a 3.6 average or higher in the preceding semester and cumulatively. Exceptions must be approved by the dean of studies.